Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Bees, bears and blessings

 Well I've snuck this post in before my recent posts that seem to be running 3 weeks apart.... so the first news is that chemotherapy is now on hold! I was hoping to be jumping with energy and renewed vigour but from what I've been told chemo takes at least 6 months (and often 12), before one feels "normal" whatever that is! I am disappointed with the lingering nausea and never ending fatigue but I have been stitching again so that is a good sign! A few more simple quilt tops for charity and beautifully bound and quilted by Faye...



Unfortunately I also had to have another two blood transfusions so hopefully that is all I will need before my first lot of surgery on December 7th. I continue to be in awe of blood donors who so willingly donate for the benefit of others like me.......blessings indeed. The other blessings I've received since my last post continue to embarrass me but I am grateful for such thoughtful support sometimes coming from afar. It was very exciting to receive two special gifts all the way from Canada! Our friends Paul and Penny were supposed to be meeting us in the UK last month for the William Morris tour but of course that didn't happen. Paul and Penny have maple trees on their property and Paul taps his own sap and produces this liquid gold. So to receive two bottles in the mail filled me with excitement and joy and we were so grateful they made it after many weeks enroute. The package was also opened and repacked by border control and customs twice..............

Paul had also emailed this image a few weeks ago of their glorious Autumn colours and he informed me that the maple on the left is the one that he tapped.........
We also love seeing photos of their property but how about these??! Penny had only just walked the same walk an hour or so before this bear was caught on their surveillance camera and then again one night....



And this lovely image we received today of Penny strolling through their first snow. Thankyou Penny and Paul xx...we are blessed to know you after years of exchanging emails before we finally met in person............
Also from Canada I received an extraordinary monetary gift from Jocelyn who has a blog - Canadian Needle Nana. I was overwhelmed and embarrassed but she said she would have made an anonymous donation if I had had a Go Fund Me page so instead an international cheque arrived. I found it difficult to accept such generosity from someone who I have never met in person, but I have graciously thanked her and said we will put it towards a holiday when I am through the other side of this current health detour. Jocelyn is also experiencing her first snow and this beautiful image was displayed on her last post of their beautiful property.......thankyou Jocelyn for your blessings x........
I am still blessed each day with images from my friend's garden and the hoyas are particularly stunning.......

Just yesterday a beautiful bee turned up in the mail from a friend......a bee to wear on my wrist and not only is this something gorgeous to wear but part funds from purchases go to saving bees as well - a win, win so thank you Vicki x.......
Coincidentally I spied these bee earrings a few weeks ago that I just had to have so bees remain a special passion........
Last week I heard Larry invite a delivery person indoors which I thought was unusual, but this delivery was a from person who is a friend of an interstate quilter that I met some years back. How clever to get her Adelaide friend to purchase these lovely plants for our garden. Corrie has been emailing me for years so another blessing that has come my way....thankyou Corrie x The hydrangea is in a new pot and thriving and the rose will be put in the garden very soon......what an appropriate name for the rose too......
I've also been blessed with some stunning peonies that brought much joy for well over a week. I adore peonies and it was lovely watching them open...........
Thankyou one and all for all these blessings as I travel this difficult time in my life. I am so grateful to have Larry by my side and his patience and support is phenomenal apart from not being willing to jab me with a needle each day!! We are suffering a bit from "cabin fever" but then half the world are with Covid lockdowns but we do go for drives when I feel up to it....and the occasional walk........

2020 has certainly been a year we would like to forget and just last Friday I received news that my 57 year old younger brother had been admitted to hospital with chest pain. He had sustained a heart attack with no history and previously a very active pushbike rider. So yesterday he underwent life saving double by-pass heart surgery so we have both faced our mortality. Sadly no visitors are allowed so I can't imagine how terrified he must have been. The night after we got the news we were blessed with a rainbow at the end of the street.....its time like this that the simple things mean so much. I wish you all many rainbows and blessings from our house to yours........

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Finding the right words

Another three and a bit weeks have passed since I last posted so clearly life has been busy....not sure busy is the right word as I've not been doing much at all! The chemotherapy has pretty much "done me in" and I can't even find the right words to describe how wretched it can make one feel. My biggest struggle has been the overwhelming fatigue despite having another top up blood transfusion and way too much rest! Then last week I developed a blood clot in the leg so I am having to jab my tummy twice a day! But onwards we must go with a plan to discuss continuing this gruelling detour with the oncologist this coming week. I saw my surgeon last Friday and we are hoping to schedule surgery before Christmas but time will tell...........

Finding the right words to show our appreciation for the continuing love and support shown to Larry and me comes easily and we are grateful for it all. Larry does the grocery shopping and our generous friends Faye and Kym indulged us with a most generous gift.............
An enormous package of Morris wrapped gifts came in the post from a friend in Melbourne...........thankyou Maree xx 


And some gorgeous chocolates from participants at the SA Quilters' Guild Quilt Encounter class that I was unable to teach. The chocolates were gifted in my very own rope bowl made by Kerryn who took my class.........thankyou all
I received some lovely new plants for the garden when I was able to catch up with Janie and Rosie for lunch some weeks back..........thankyou girls xx
More treats in the post......a magazine from Caroline to enjoy during my chemo sessions and a book of daily inspiration from Laraine.....thankyou again x

More flowers from a cousin and Aunt and a bright bunch from our eldest daughter Emily..........
And all the way from England our friend Ruth sent us some Aussie dollars to spend on ourselves so we are collecting photos with lunch being one of our treats.......thankyou Ruth x She also included some inspirational "Positive Side of Life" quotes..........
More cards have arrived with a Morris scented sachet in one of them............
And in just the last few days I have really struggled with finding the right words when I received two glorious quilts made especially for me. First was from a quilting group from Victoria - Kilmore Quilters who we have spent many fun hours with over the years. Members were instructed to use William Morris fabrics only and I can't put into words what the quilt means to me...........thankyou everyone xx

And just yesterday I received yet another stunning appliqu├ęd quilt made by 14 friends. Another moment where finding the right words eluded me. As a maker of quilts myself it made me realise the joy of receiving and being wrapped in a piece of work made with love by others. There were so many blocks that three of them were turned into a runner.......wow and thankyou everyone xx...........

We also had a special birthday since my last post......little Wade turned three! Emily decided to invite Wade and Sophie for a Halloween party as it was just a day or so after his birthday so the kiddies had fun dressing up and trick or treating. I was so glad I was up to joining them that day........





Beau and Maisie celebrated sports day together since my last post........
The overwhelming fatigue with the bonus DVT has meant my walks have been few and far between especially this past week. The weather has also been quite erratic with chilly and cold one day and quite hot the next. But we did manage a seaside stroll one day and a short walk to check out the wetlands near where we live. Soon they will be dry with Summer but for now the rains have been welcome......

The roses this year have been spectacular and the extra rains have really helped. So we have had several vases full from the garden to enjoy inside...........




It is now 11 weeks since I started treatment and I should be having a few more weeks of chemo, but with the unwelcome side effects including a new one of neuropathy this means we will review it all this week At the moment I have pins and needles in my hands and feet and I cannot imagine not being able to stitch so I do hope I find the right words when I tell the oncologist it is time to stop. Till next time our love and thanks to you all xx